Sexual Exploration and Teaching Children Boundaries

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Several months ago, I let the bathroom briefly to grab a towel while the children were bathing. Sally is five and Bobby two, but they actually rarely bathe together because they're both so bath-resistant we usually end up running them through the shower with us instead. Standing in the hall grabbing a towel from the linen closet I heard something along the lines of "Can I see it?" When I reentered the bathroom a moment later I realized that Sally was looking at and touching Bobby's penis. Sally l … [Read more...]

“Normal Childhood Sexual Exploration”?

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When I was around seven, we often got together with a family with a little boy my own age. His parents went to my parents' church, and I think they were in the same Bible study. At some point he began nagging me, wanting me to pull down my underwear and let him see my bare bottom. I didn't want to do that, and I told him as much, but he wouldn't let up. Finally, I gave in. When no one was around, I laid down on the floor face down and pulled my underwear down so he could see my bare bottom. Afte … [Read more...]

Women Over There Have It Worse!

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As some of you may know, Bill Maher and Sam Harris have been criticizing Islam lately, with pushback from Reza Aslan and Ben Affleck, among others. For an interesting discussion of one of these conversations, see this post by Avicenna. Heck, if you want more reading, see this post with a video of Reza Aslan, this response on the Friendly Atheist, and Reza Aslan's recent piece in the New York Times. But in this post I want to touch on a very specific statement made by Sam Harris (during this seg … [Read more...]

Malala, Nobel Prize Winner and Muslim Feminist

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Seventeen-year-old Malala Yousafzai has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls' rights to education. In the aftermath of this award, I have found an … [Read more...]

More Thoughts on Teaching Consent to Young Children

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"When I was at Brogan's house, I kissed him," five-year-old Sally told me recently."Okay. Where did you kiss him?" I asked, curious what sort of kiss she meant."On the back of the head, because he didn't want me to so he was moving all around.""Wait a minute, now---""When we go over to Brogan's house again, I will run and catch him and kiss him again!" Sally proclaimed excitedly."Sally, what should you do if someone doesn't want you to kiss them?" I asked."Just get him … [Read more...]

What to Do If Someone Calls You Sexist: A Short Primer

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It has come to my attention that some people seem to view being called sexist as worse than the damage done by being sexist. (It has also come to my attention that many people don't know what sexism is.) This is all highly unfortunate, to say the least, but I think I can help. Without further ado, here is my short and dirty primer on what to do if someone calls you (or something you said or did) sexist.1. StopDo not respond to accusations of sexism with outrage or denial. Doing so sug … [Read more...]

“It’s like their brains time-travel back to 1952″

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In the past, I've done what I've called "awesome comment award." I want to start doing something similar but more regular. I have a lot of readers who say many interesting things, and some of their comments call for a bit more spotlight.Today I want to highlight a comment by reader snowmentality, left last week on one of my posts, "What's Your Favorite Princess?"I love that Sally had the self-confidence to say "I don't have a favorite princess." At her age, I probably would have just nam … [Read more...]


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